U.S.

April 16, 2012

Judge won’t block discharge effort against Marine

by Julie Watson
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A federal judge denied a request Friday to block military discharge proceedings against a Camp Pendleton Marine who called President Barack Obama an enemy on Facebook.

U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff ruled the military has the right to respond to Sgt. Gary Stein’s online comments in a case that has called into question the Pentagon’s policies regarding social media and the limits regarding the speech of active duty military personnel.

A military panel has recommended to a general that Stein be given an other-than-honorable discharge that also would strip him of all benefits.

A general must still decide the outcome, but Stein’s lawyers argued Friday in federal court in San Diego that Huff had the right to intervene because the ongoing proceedings go too far and are chilling the speech of Stein and other service members.

Attorney J. Mark Brewer told Huff the entire process violates the First Amendment, which federal courts have the right to uphold.

Huff disagreed, calling Stein’s postings “truly troubling.” Service members have had their speech limited since the Civil War, especially if their comments are believed to disrupt good order and discipline.

The judge pointed out Stein’s March 1 comments on a Facebook page used by Marine Corps meteorologists in which the sergeant stated, “Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him.”

Stein went on to state that he supports and defends the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

“Obama is the economic enemy … He is the religious enemy … he is the ‘Fundamentally change’ America enemy … he IS the Domestic Enemy,” Stein wrote, according to court documents filed by prosecutors based on a screen grab of the page.

Stein later clarified in a posting that he would not follow any unlawful orders from the president. Huff commended Stein for doing that, but she said “nevertheless, he made a very strong statement.”

In making her ruling, Huff told Stein that service members have several options to appeal any ruling within the military, including asking for a review by a board of civilians.

Stein acknowledged after the hearing that the options are available only after he has been discharged _ which he wants to stop from happening.

The nine-year veteran who served in Iraq said he should not have his career wiped out for  “15 words on Facebook.”

“I’ve never disobeyed any order,” said Stein, whose service ends July 28. He has said he wants to re-enlist.

“It’s like a boxing match,” he said of Friday’s ruling. “I’m down two rounds now.”

Stein plans to continue to fight outside the military and go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Boeing breaks ground in St. Louis for new composites center

Boeing Dec. 16 began construction in St. Louis of a new 367,000-square-foot facility in which it will build parts for the newest member of its 777 commercial airplanes family, the 777X.  About 700 new jobs will be created for the 777X work. Construction should be complete in 2016, with work on 777X wing and empennage...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

Governor Brown’s Military Council visits Aerospace Valley

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds Maj. Logan “Vice” Lamping, F-35 Test Pilot of the 461st Flight Test Squadron briefs visitors of The Governor’s Military Council. The council visited Edwards Air Force Base and Ai...
 
 
NASA photograph by George Hale

NASA’s IceBridge Antarctic campaign wraps up

NASA photograph by George Hale A view from an IceBridge survey flight Nov. 3, 2014, showing a cloud’s shadow on crevassed Antarctic ice. NASA’s Operation IceBridge recently completed its 2014 Antarctic campaign, marking the...
 

 

Raytheon, Bell conduct first missile launch from V-22

Raytheon and Bell Helicopter have completed two successful launches of the Griffin B missile from a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey multi-mission aircraft at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. As an industry funded effort with Bell’s Xworx, Raytheon demonstrated the simplicity of integrating the Griffin B missile onto the V-22 platform. “This is the first time a...
 
 
Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds

Many living with PTSD

Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds Helping paws – Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient Phillip Waln, member of VFW Post 3000 visits with Michele and her therapy pet, Morgan, during a PTSD awareness workshop. With an es...
 
 
Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds

Aerospace degree proposed at AVC

Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds Dr. Karen Cowell and Dr. Maria Clinton speak to the Antelope Valley College board on the progress of starting a Baccalaureate Degree pilot program for Airframe Manufacturing Technology. Classes w...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>